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Talkin Treo -- v090106

Fri Sep 1, 2006 - 3:42 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 1 September 2006

As we glide into the long holiday weekend, the world of Treo is absolutely buzzing.

No. Not the Pixar Buzz.

Rather, it's the type of buzz that surrounds the anticipation of new products.

And the buzz about the Treos that are "coming soon" to a wireless service provider near you has reached a really high decibel�so high that it can't be ignored. So let's talk buzz and Treo!

Talkin Treo Buzz

This story, posted by John Andrews of, does a pretty good job summarizing what's being said.

And Ed Hardy at Brighthand always seems to have a good take on the rumor mill.

Meanwhile, at TreoCentral, it's "all the news when it's fit to print." We have an Editorial policy here to only let the cat out of the bag when Palm says we can. So stay tuned!

Palm News

Under the category of "It's about time!" � Looks like BlackBerry Connect has finally found its way to the States.

On Wednesday, Cingular Wireless, Palm, and Research In Motion (RIM) announced the availability of BlackBerry Connect for the Palm Treo 650 smart device. With BlackBerry Connect software, Cingular customers now can enjoy the feature-rich Treo 650 with the BlackBerry service for a robust and secure solution on the nationwide Cingular EDGE wireless data network.

The announcement notes, "Businesses can now leverage their existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server while giving employees a powerful, new wireless device option."

Here's another take on this story.

Saying "Yes" to Hands-Free Driving

That headline looks weird out of context. Anyway, this week, Palm became the first (and only) major cell phone manufacturer to support a bill working its way through California legislature, which prohibits automobile drivers from using a wireless phone while operating a vehicle unless the driver is using the device in hands-free mode. Palm believes that the bill responsibly addresses evidence that handheld cell phone use increases the risk of accidents.

In their announcement, Palm noted that the Treo fully supports hands-free use. For hands-free accessories, such as car kits, headsets and earpieces, check out the TreoCentral Store.

The "A" Train with My Palm
Thanks to Tam Hanna for bringing this to our attention. It's a classic Palm ad that's available on YouTube. It'll make you smile and remind you of why you fell in love with Palm products.

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Softick Audio Gateway - By James Hromadka

James has written an interesting article about a solution called Softick Audio Gateway that provides Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP] functionality for the Treo 650. Headphones with A2DP allow you to stream your music from a compatible mobile phone to their headphones without needing a cable. Some Bluetooth headphones offer music play only, while others also double as a headset for making phone calls.

James remarks:
"If you are looking to use wireless A2DP Bluetooth headphones with your Treo, Softick Audio Gateway is a must. Hopefully Softick's supported list will grow, as more A2DP headphones are released.

For the first time ever, my Treo 650 has a Bluetooth feature that my Sony Ericsson K750 cannot do."

Electric Pocket Ringo Pro - By Jay Gross

Jay reviewed Ringo Pro. For those of you unfamiliar with this program, its claim to fame is how easy it makes it to convert your favorite song, sound effect or music or any kind of audio ripped from CD or DVD into Treo ringtones. Cool stuff!

Jay writes:
"The concept behind Ringo is grand: Audio cues for who's calling. When Schubert's Funeral March drones out of your pocket, it's the boss trying to reach you. When the Marseillaise marches on, it's your neighbor, borrowing stuff. When Savoy Truffle blares out, it's your lunch date, running late... well, you get the idea. Ringo's implementation almost brings the idea to reality, but its user interface is unintuitive in too many places, it doesn't work as intended on the Treo 700p, and it seems more interested in selling content and add-ons than doing its job."
I-Tech Virtual Laser Bluetooth Keyboard - By Harv Laser

Harv takes a looks at this sci-fi attraction -- the virtual laser Bluetooth keyboard.

He notes that it is "an interesting and novel device, and there's certainly nothing else out there like it. It does work pretty much as claimed, but it's quirky and is hardly what I'd call perfect in design and execution."

But does it play well with the Treo? Read this review to find out.

Check Out Our First "TreoCast"!

If you haven't had a chance, you should check out the TreoCast that was posted last week by Dieter Bohn and Mike Overbo. Another one is on the way.

Dieter comments:

"Sorry to butt in on the Talkin' Treo column, but I needed to say a couple things: the next TreoCentral TreoCast is going to be a day late because of the Labor Day holiday weekend � watch for it this Tuesday instead of this Monday. In the meantime, the TreoCast managed to hit the #5 Gadget Podcast in iTunes last week � [click this link to subscribe to the iTunes feed] and help get those numbers up!

Also - the TreoCentral Wiki Contest ends soon!"

News & Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

Alas, (and luckily] last week's alien abduction was only temporary. Something tells me that it was related to the virtual laser Bluetooth keyboard misfiring.

So without further ado, let's talk about what's going on elsewhere in the world of Treo!

Getting Longer Life from Your Treo recently took a look at the Seidio Extended Battery:
"The Seidio Extended Battery has demonstrated that it does what it says. You WILL get longer life from your Treo using one of these batteries. As always, each user will obtain different results based upon programs installed and the specific use of the device. Try it, you'll like it!"
Know Where You're Going � New Treo GPS Solution Can Help
Andrew over at Treonauts just reviewed the new Palm GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition 2. He writes:
"If you do not currently own a GPS solution for your Treo then this is undoubtedly the one that I would recommend. If like me you already own the TomTom Navigator 5 bundle then I would wait for TomTom to release their new/upgrade version 6 software on an SD card as the existing GPS receiver in this bundle (pictured below left] is still my favorite (even though it does not offer USB charging). Yet others who have separately purchased the TomTom 5 software and a GPS receiver (such as the excellent new Globalsat BT359W below right] will probably also want to wait for the version 6 release."
His review also included this handy comparison chart.

WiFi with your Treo 650... Why Not?
Mike at Digital Lifestyles has provided us with a review of a WiFi option for the Treo 650, the Enfora WiFi Sled.

He remarks:
"It has to be said that although it feels a bit of a bodge, it actually works very well and for users who need to combine the slick functionality of a Treo 650 with the speed of a broadband Wi-Fi connection, the Enfora WiFi Sled is well worth the money."
TT Mailbag
I get a lot of email feedback from readers of Talkin Treo. (And keep'em coming. Your constructive feedback is welcome and useful)..

David M. wrote in to tell me about JAJAH, a Mountain View company that offers an alternative to Mino, which was mentioned in a previous column.

JAJAH, touts themselves as "the world's most innovative global communications company", who offers elegantly simple ways to make free and cheap calls using the Internet, without headphones, microphones, software downloads or high-speed Internet connections. An Internet connection is only necessary to initiate the call.

In June, they announced the JAJAH Free Global Calling Plan that applies to land line and mobile calls to and within: the United States, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. The plan also applies to landline calls to and within: Australia, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and most other European nations.

Learn more here.

Endnotes & Ponderables

Get a Magnet! (or a sledge hammer?)
Yikes! Remember back in the day, when bulk erasing a hard drive on a computer involved getting a hold of an industrial strength magnet? Perhaps someone can invent something similar for cell phones, because the story making the rounds this week had to do with old cell phones not being as erased as the owner may have thought.

Trust Digital, a Virginia-based phone security company, bought ten used phones on eBay this summer to prove that point. All of the phones were reasonably sophisticated and all had been erased ("hard reset" in Palm lingo) according to directions from the operating manuals. Despite that, though, the company was able to use software that is available inexpensively on the Internet to retrieve information (a lot of it highly personal] from nearly all of them. Guess I shouldn't feel guilty about having a drawer full of old cell phones.

Chew on this bit of info from the full wire story at (Yahoo News):
"Palm Inc., which makes the popular Treo phones, puts directions deep within its Web site for what it calls a 'zero out reset.' It involves holding down three buttons simultaneously while pressing a fourth tiny button on the back of the phone.
But it's so awkward to do that even Palm says it may take two people. A Palm executive, Joe Fabris, said the company made the process deliberately clumsy because it doesn't want customers accidentally erasing their information."
Did you know there are TWO levels of hard reset? This came as quite a revelation to many people, so be careful before you decide to sell a Treo on eBay.

Get Yer Beer Where?

This in from the UK... Coors is launching a new service enabling customers to find the nearest pub to them that sells Carling beer. By texting 'beer' to a special number - 83400 - on their mobile phones, customers in London get access to a WAP site that locates the nearest pub with Carling to their postcode. It also enables mobile users to give pubs a rating on three different criteria, which will then become a listing for other drinkers.

Now if I had one of those for Fat Tire here in the States, I'd be set.

That's a wrap!

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